Building a successful business requires building relationships. And building strong relationships requires effective communication across all fronts: in person, phone, web meetings, social media, and email.
When you’re exchanging information via email with prospects, clients, employees, and vendors, tone and intent can get lost in translation. Without the benefit of facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and inflections to gauge emotion and intent, your audience could get confused or misinterpret your meaning.
Simple changes and 7 quick tips will make you a more effective communicator:
- Stick to the point.
Addressing too many things and running off on tangents within your emails will make it difficult for your readers to home in on what you’re trying to communicate and your purpose. Don’t confuse them; keep your emails brief and to the point.
- Organize your content using bullet points and numbered lists.
Not only will this help you stay on point, it will also help your audience more easily digest the details you’re providing.
- Break up large chunks of text into shorter paragraphs.
Rather than composing long paragraphs that could cause readers to tune out and start skimming rather than reading your every word, break up your text into shorter paragraphs. You’ll provide readers with eye rests to help them stay tuned into your email.
- ALWAYS use Spellcheck.
It helps catch errors you might have made. But don’t put all of your faith in it. It will miss slip ups like using “a” where an “an” should be.
- Be extra vigilant about common snafus.
It’s all too easy to put a “their” where a “they’re” should be, or a “hear” instead of a “here.” They can slip by even the best writers. Be on the alert for those types of errors.
- Read your emails aloud before sending them.
Not only will it help you pick out any errors that Spellcheck might have missed, it also gives you an opportunity to check your tone.
- Send a draft to someone else for feedback.
Consider asking a colleague or friend (or a SCORE mentor) to review what you’ve written and provide constructive criticism. When you do this, resist the urge to get defensive. Remember, their intention is to help you, not pick you apart.
With just a little attention and care, you can improve your writing and strengthen your communication skills. If you’re struggling with communicating effectively in your business, contact us here at SCORE. We’re here to guide you in all aspects of starting and growing a small business.